The pros and cons of scheduling your social media content

The pros and cons of scheduling your social media content
April 15, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Social media is one marketing strategy that you’ll get better results from if you put more time and dedication into it. This is good because it means you can get a lot out of it if you put in the effort. On the other hand, it means you can end up spending a lot of time on it rather than working on your business. Or perhaps you simply can’t find the time to dedicate to social media.

Luckily, scheduling tools are available that help save you time on social media. Platforms such as Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. You can also use them to schedule posts to go out at a certain time and date.

Using platforms such as these to schedule your social media means that you don’t have to spend time logging into each one when you want to post something. However, there are also downsides to social media scheduling, so it’s not advisable to rely on it too heavily.

Here are some of the main pros and cons of social media scheduling:

Pros

  • Saves time – Rather than wasting time logging into your profiles several times each day to check who’s tweeted what or to post each update in real time, set aside one hour on Monday morning, for example, and schedule a bunch of tweets for the week ahead. This way, you can spend more time on other important parts of your business.
  • Establish consistency – The key to social media, and other types of content marketing, is to be consistent. If you tweet a couple of times one week and then don’t post again until the following month, your followers might forget about you. You’ll also struggle to gain many new followers. By scheduling posts in advance, you know content is still going out even if you’re too busy to check in.
  • Reach your audience when they’re online – If you’ve discovered that your target audience are predominantly online in the evenings, you can schedule posts to go out at these peak times so that you can still reach your audience outside of your usual working hours.

Cons

  • You could miss out – If you rely solely on scheduled posts and never actually log in to your accounts, you might miss out on breaking news or a big trending topic that everyone is talking about. It is good to react to these kinds of stories and get involved with the conversations about them. You can capture more attention and encourage engagement this way. You can’t react to breaking news if you’re not present. By the time you get around to it, the buzz may have already passed.
  • Appears impersonal – It is usually obvious when all an account does is post scheduled or automated content. What they post can seem unnatural, they never reply to comments and they don’t get involved in conversations. People will figure it out eventually and, when they do, they will stop trying to engage with your account and may even unfollow you.
  • Outdated posts – If you schedule content really far in advance, by the time the later posts are sent out, it might be old news already or it might not even make sense. For example, if you schedule a tweet during the summer about how much you’re enjoying the sun, it could end up raining on the day, leaving you looking like a fool.

The verdict on scheduling

As you can see, there are arguments both for and against the use of social media scheduling platforms. While scheduling your content may save you time and make your life easier, it could also have some adverse effects. The key is to not rely too heavily on either method. If you only do live posting, you might end up spending half your time on social media. But, only sending out scheduled tweets will result in a lack of engagement.

Schedule some posts to save you time and build up consistency. At the same time, check in on a regular basis to see if there’s anything you can share or respond to. Downloading the mobile apps for each platform is a good way to stay up to date with what’s going on.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.